Enhancing Older Drivers' Safety: On Effects Induced by Stereotype Threat to Older Adults' Driving Performance, Working Memory and Self-Regulation

Abstract : In a study concerned with driving behaviors of older drivers (mean age 70 years) in a driving simulator, our findings indicate that telling older drivers that they are more at risk of accidents because of their age and their driving performance-related decline (i.e., exposing them to a stereotype threat concerning older drivers) severely impairs their self-regulatory skills. Moreover, our results show that this is at least partly due to exhaustion of the executive resources (older drivers under stereotype threat tended to contradict the stereotype of being slow by driving faster), appearing also through working memory overload (older drivers under stereotype threat performed markedly less well in a modular arithmetic task than drivers in the control condition). We thus complete the existing evidence that older drivers' performance may be affected by socially-grounded factors, suggesting that simply being investigated may be enough to tax many capabilities in older people. We also propose that stereotype threat might be at least a partial explanation for why older drivers sometimes have poorer self-regulation performances after attending rehabilitation programs designed to make older drivers safer ones.
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BMC Geriatrics, BioMed Central, 2016, 7, pp.117 - 117. <10.1111/j.0956-7976.2005.00799.x>
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Lisa Brelet, Ladislav Moták, Magali Ginet, Nathalie Huet, Marie Izaute, et al.. Enhancing Older Drivers' Safety: On Effects Induced by Stereotype Threat to Older Adults' Driving Performance, Working Memory and Self-Regulation. BMC Geriatrics, BioMed Central, 2016, 7, pp.117 - 117. <10.1111/j.0956-7976.2005.00799.x>. <halshs-01584247>

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